Friday, July 3, 2009

U.S.-Built Ferry Sets Sail for Africa

U.S.-Built Ferry Sets Sail for Africa

Thain Boatworks, Inc. Ships its First Containerized Ferry to Uganda

Thain and EarthWise Ventures, Inc., is Major Step Toward Rebuilding African Infrastructure

EVERETT, Wash., June 29 /Christian Newswire/ -- Thain Boatworks and EarthWise Ventures, Inc. will be shipping the first Thain Containerizable Ferry from Everett to Uganda the final week of July. According to Robert Smith, U.S.A CEO of EarthWise Ventures and President of Thain Boatworks, "The shipping of this vessel is the first step in fulfilling the Earthwise dream of rebuilding African infrastructure through for-profit, private investment."

Just shy of 65', the twin-hulled vessel is made of fiberglass-clad wood, and is designed to be disassembled and shipped in standard containers, to be reassembled in Uganda by a team comprised of Americans and Africans. Eventually, Thain BoatWorks plans to conduct most of its ferry production in a Ugandan-based factory, thus adding jobs and revenue to the Ugandan economy. The ferry is designed for passenger traffic, and is expected to carry between 150 and 200 passengers between various destinations on Lake Victoria. It is the first in a fleet that is expected to grow to at least 10 vessels over the next 10 years.

The first planned route will travel between Port Bell, Uganda, and Mwanza, Tanzania, a 185-mile cross- lake run. The ship is designed to be fast, covering the distance in approximately 8 hours time, 11 hours less than when the route was last served in 1996. Presently, the only way to travel between these destinations is an arduous 1- to 2-day bus trip over extremely poor roads.

EarthWise Co-Founders Robert Smith and Calvin Echodu have each founded and operated a variety of successful African and USA based for-profit and not- for-profit operations, including Agathos Foundation, ( and Pilgrim Uganda (, each a privately funded, not-for-profit serving the vulnerable populations in Sub-Saharan Africa.

If you'd like more information about this topic, or to schedule an interview with Rob Smith and/or Calvin Echodu, please call Rob Smith at (425) 319-1032. Photos available upon request.

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